Development of ‘eyesore’ Wibsey site will create 23 jobs

On Wednesday, a planning application to build the development of seven light industrial units in the centre of Wibsey was approved by a planning panel.

The site, the former Foresters Yard, is next to Wibsey’s High Street, off Lower George Street and just behind The Ancient Foresters pub.

Previous plans to build employment units at the site were approved in 2020, but work never started and the permission has now lapsed.

Last year Belair Management Ltd applied for permission for seven small light industrial units on the site.

A report to the Bradford Area Planning Panel by officers suggested the development be approved, adding: “There is a clear encouragement for economic development, and the proposed development would be beneficial to the local economy by bringing about job opportunities in this currently unused site.”

Four people had objected to the plans, with some raising concerns about the current state and limited capacity of the access road.

The plans would include improvements to Oddy Place – the road that leads to the site and that is also used by several homes near the development.

The planning report said: “Given the fact that the existing substandard access serves a number of dwellings and served a builder’s yard in the past, it is considered that with the proposed highway improvements the access should be adequate to serve the proposed development and would also provide benefits for residents.”

Martin Thornton, representing the applicants, said: “This will be a significant improvement to this site.

“The silent majority of residents support this proposal and recognise the benefits it will bring.

“These units will be attractive to local small businesses and 23 local, full-time jobs will be created.

“Future occupiers must be uses acceptable for this area.

“There are no downsides – this is a previously developed site that will be brought back into use.

“Workers will support local shops and businesses, and residents will have access to a significantly improved road.”

Councillor Dave Green (Lab, Wibsey) said he supported the idea of developing the site, adding: “It has been an eyesore.”

But he raised concerns about the potential highway issues that could be caused by the large vehicles travelling to and from the site using Upper George Street, with the exit to the site being a short distance from Wibsey Primary School.

He said: “There are already traffic issues, particularly with parents double parking, and this could cause potential for further issues.

“The challenge with this site has always been the access.”

Members were told that highways officers believed the proposals were acceptable.

Members approved the plans on the condition that deliveries to the site will only take place between 9am and 5pm.

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